MarieJoe Raidy is Creative Director and Print Expert. She is most-recognised for her Strong Business Acumen, bold mixed media work and being the first to launch the “Eco-Friendly and Quality” printing concept in the Middle East.
What Phases does a Print Job go through, from the first idea to the product delivery? How can you be more time and (hence) cost-effective?
To avoid coming back and forth once too often, having mistakes ending up being printed (from type to fonts corrupted to images in low resolution or wrong colors, etc.) , here are 10 important steps that can save you time, effort, money, and can help you get the best outcome for your printed product.
1. IDEA PHASE
This is where you brainstorm, put the silliest and smartest ideas together on the table, until you decide what it is that you need. Is it a brochure, a flyer? (each gives a different impression and serves a different purpose) what first impression does each of them give? who is your target audience? (age? sex? location? profession? financial income?) what message are you trying to convey? (buy me! help me! I can make you beautiful! I can save your life! I can cure your heartache!)
2. PRODUCTION OF ORIGINALS
Once the product type has been decided (What I need is a brochure!), you will need to start “producing” or gathering its content. From taking photographs, to writing the text, to creating the illustrations, hire the right people to create each element needed for your end item, and make sure they are produced in the right “format”. For example, if a website is what you are doing, then image resolution needs to be of 72 dpi. If you are producing a brochure which will be offset (quality) printed , then your images resolution needs to be between 300 and 400 dpi.
3. COORDINATION MANAGEMENT.
Pick the right printer and right designer at the right time for the right job. It is advised to visit your printer in advance and choose the type of paper that would be best for your product. During that phase, you can also ask to be informed about the different and latest technologies in printing, which can inspire you while designing the job. This can affect the direction you or the designer will take for your corporate image creation. Remember, Not every Design is suitable for every printing technique, and the right design printed on the wrong paper (and vice versa) can kill your product.
4. PREPRESS// CONVERT TO FORMAT
At this phase, you need to convert the images, and the text to the right format (by typing the text, scanning your images in the right resolution and the right profile, so on so forth)
5. PREPRESS// DESIGN
This is where through the visual language, the graphic designer finds strategic business solutions to her/his client’s problems. This is when designers and print experts should meet to choose the most appropriate techs to the job’s needs and purpose. For example, you may not want to print a one color (black on white paper) 2 pages flyer on a thin paper for a project on how to promote Luxury Apartments in the Center of New York City or another Prime location, for it would not be showing the impression needed to impress the right audience and make them want to “trust” the product and want to “buy” the item.
6. PREPRESS// PHOTO MANAGEMENT AND COLOR SEPARATION
This is where images are reworked to comply with print requirements, using state-of-the-art color management tools, on calibrated screens.
7. PREPRESS// PROOFS
Having a printed proof before sending your job to print is Absolutely Crucial! for this is where you can proofread for the last time before the job is sent for execution. If a typeface has moved, or is corrupted, if colors are not up to your expectations, if any error has been omitted, this is where you can catch it and fix it. Make sure to demand to “sign” on the proof you approve on, to avoid misunderstandings.
8. PRESS// PLATEMAKING AND PRINTING
Once the proof is approved, this is where plates are produced and sent to the printing room, for your job to start.
9. POSTPRESS// BINDING AND PACKING
This is the phase where everything after “printing on the paper” takes place, such as: folding, cutting, die cut, hot stamping, lamination, hard case soft cover binding, sewing, spot UV, numbering, creasing, to name a few.
Your item is packed and ready to be delivered!